Kombi Drivers ‘Strike’ Over Police Bribes
Commuter omnibus drivers have effectively gone on strike after they hiked fares to raise money to bribe police in Zimbbabwe.
Commuters were left stranded after fares on some routes went up by as much as 150%. The drivers are complaining that they are having to pay multiple bribes on routes. The kombi crews claimed police roadblocks were now money spinning ventures for traffic cops. They also claimed that kombis belonging to police officers were operating undisturbed.
NewsDay reported that kombi drivers said ‘there were five police roadblocks along the 40km stretch [to Norton] and at each point police demanded $5, which adds up to $10 for a round trip’.
Yesterday, many kombis were parked in the city in protest.
The police on the other hand said that there were 4,500 kombis in Harare with 1,000 of those operating illegally.
Now the police can go to town about this but the fact of the matter is that many people will tell you that when they approach a road block, the first thing on their minds is not whether they are breaking the law but whether they have bribe money on them.
While we agree that there are a lot of people operating kombis illegally, the police should be yanking these guys off the street and making sure they get their act right. Accepting bribes puts passengers at risk because obviously, that vehicle is not being serviced to the standards that required by law.
The actions of both sides end up affecting the average person.
Sources: The Herald, NewsDay